tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN November 9, 2015 10:00pm-12:01am EST
>> my observation. [inaudible] it is more of an analogy. [inaudible] they have been fighting rulings back-and-forth than 35 years. compared to the taliban and they were weekend. when we see the taliban right now and they're -- i would expect. [inaudible] in afghanistan for at least two more decades. if they can demand for two more decades and spent 35 years, don't you think that the taliban would be having the same
influence the upcoming decades? and if so, what is the strategic solution if they have one solution. but this can dissolve this issue with the new appointment. because as we have been witnessing the party has not forgotten -- [inaudible] who have this party and they have not forgotten this. how do we expect that the person who is a leading member of the party will be with the taliban overall. thank you. >> well, let's look at it from a different angle.
there was a war. they were one in infection. [inaudible] and if one of them called themselves. [inaudible] going back to a title that they had earlier, that is just a title. and they are now transformed into a political party nonaudit it's a political party, no? [inaudible] [inaudible] and so it is not 100% there may be 80%.
[inaudible] and so they may be transformed into a political party like this. [inaudible] and that can be a time when we have a solution to the problem. [inaudible] >> i want to thank all of you for coming here this afternoon and i want to extend a special thanks for your time to talk to us and speak with us very patiently after the questions. >> my pleasure. >> thank you very much. >> as part of her veterans day coverage, we will hear from first lady laura bush and labor secretary thomas perez, a medal of honor recipient tomorrow night. it has been the u.s. chamber of commerce and george w. bush institute conference. that is at 8:00 p.m. eastern on our companion network, c-span.
>> while the servicemen and women are deployed, they are the ones that take care of the families at home. they care for the children, they manage to finance and and they pray that their husbands and wives will return home safely. master sergeant rock you, he ane joined us for the 101st celebration. when she talked about his service, she said that we, and i say we served 25 years and i lived every deployment with rocky. every trial and tribulation period for the day i said yes to him, i did not realize the impact that it was in have on me and that is why it is so important to make sure that
while the servicemen and women receive the support that they need, that we care for their families as well. and as we have heard this morning, employment support is the perfect place to start. post-9/11 that trends face higher rates of unemployment than their civilian counterparts. and the consequences of that unemployment are not only financial. when one family member is suffering, the entire family suffers. >> we have more on our companion network at 8:00 p.m. eastern. on veterans day, we will bring you coverage of with the replay ceremony live from arlington wednesday at 11:00 p.m. eastern
on c-span. coming up next on c-span2, we will hear from journalists and human rights activists maziar bahari who was imprisoned in iran in 2009. later a house panel investigates government health insurance co-ops. >> coverage of book fairs and festivals from across the country with nonfiction author talks, interviews and viewer collins ekman, coming up in the we will be live from the 32nd annual miami book fair, and the coverage on saturday november november 21. others include john lewis, discussing his book and a live call-in with wall street journal columnist, peggy noonan, who talks about her book, "the time of our lives." judith miller talks about her
looks, "the story". and lights out, a nation unprepared, surviving the aftermath. on sunday speak with the author's life. then host joy reid will take calls about her book. barack obama, the clintons and the racial divide. join us live on c-span2 booktv starting november 21. be sure to wallow and tweet us your questions. >> after appearing on the daily show with jon stewart, journalist and activist maziar bahari was incarcerated by the iranian government in 2009. his memoir "and then they came for me" was basis for the film
by john stewart called "rosewater." he sits down with candy crowley. this was held at harvard university kennedy school. [applause] [inaudible conversations] [applause] >> good evening, and welcome to the john f. kennedy junior forum, i am maggie williams, director of the policy institute at harvard. we take up this fascinating topic, journalism is not a crime. moderated by a great american political journalists, candy
crowley. for nearly three decades americans and audiences worldwide have looked for coverage of politics that is thorough and incisive and objective, revealing an honest. over her career she has traversed the journalistic world as you can read in tonight's foreign programs, she has covered every major u.s. political figure in recent memory, including every president since jimmy carter, as well as countless governors and members of those of the house and senate. she has worked in all 50 states as well as around the globe, covering not only politics but many oracle events and if you
are interviewed by her, you you can count on several things. intense questioning, intellectual integrity, steady knowledge of every issue and relentless probing until she reaches the truth. we are very proud to have her this semester and i am honored to introduce her because she will be our moderator this evening. >> thank you. >> i am just going to briefly introduce these two gentlemen because i think that they need a bit of a setup for those of you that don't know why they're here together. to my left is maziar bahari, a journalist and filmmaker and next to him is tim greenberg, who is the executive producer of the daily show.
so the first question is why are they together, and i'm glad to have tim set up something from the daily show or all of you to see so that we can move the conversation along. >> this is a clip from the series that we did on iran where we traveled there right before the election back in 2009 and the point was basically to just present this in one of the people that we wanted to interview was him. >> the islamic republic of iran, a nation in upheaval and the powder cake waiting to explode. as we empathize with these courageous souls who are risking their lives to take a stand or democracy in the face of
oppression, let us not forget that these evil are evil. but just what is it that makes them so evil 2 i have not signed up for twitter, so the only way to find out what's going to for myself. and as i touch down at the airport on my 36 birthday, i was completely alone. no american and deceit, no alcohol, not even exposed anglos. >> i have a wife and children. >> even leaving the hotel presented the potential risks. but i assured my producer that as long as he was with me that there was nothing to fear.
i made contact with my translator and we headed to a coffee shop office where for clandestine meeting with an iranian journalist maziar bahari who go by the codename pistachio and i would recognize him. and i asked him the question on every westerner's mind. why was this country so terrifying. >> in some ways they don't understand each other. they don't want this the other side, they don't know how to talk to the other side. >> i didn't understand a word of that. [inaudible]
>> i'm going to need someone who speaks english. >> the one thing i could understand is that this entire country is evil. >> the first thing you want to know is that it's not need evil. they have much more in common than they have as far as difference goes. al qaeda is the number one enemy of iran. [inaudible] >> enough of the doublespeak. >> so that is a portion of what was aired. and it was clearly aimed at poking fun of americans use of iran, but something went amiss after this was aired. >> yes, we were there right before the election would seem
like the more liberal candidate is going to win. and when we were there, the mood where we were is that every place that you go you see these green ribbon and a lot of young people would be driving around and it seemed like the time where things were really going to change or that there was a desire for change for a more liberal society herriot so we went there thinking okay, great, we will cover this and this would be a good time for us to introduce america to iran and then it turned out that that didn't happen, the exact opposite happened where the powers that be known on. >> and there were street demonstrations and government forces cracking down. see you as a reporter for
following this. the day after the election they go from there to your imprisonment. >> well, basically what happened was for a time of two or three months, i believe people were in a euphoric mood and that they would have someone and they really did not matter that much who was that person. and to put things in context if you have the supreme leader and then the president, these are two people that many iranians are just ashamed of. it's like donald trump and kim kardashian as resident and vice president. so maybe i does give you an
idea. and so you really want to get rid of kim kardashian. but let's get rid of kim kardashian, so people wanted to change and that is why he was not someone who believed in democracy. he was the prime minister. and he was talking about this and he was talking about opening it up a little bit. so people were kind of euphoric. the two or three weeks before the election? >> yes, yes. about a week before. >> people were euphoric and the
government, we do not know what was going on. i think about 200 visas were issued. so some of them are getting ahead of themselves calling this a new green revolution rather than the green movement. so the election happened and everyone based on the surveys and intelligence and i had seen one of them, everyone thought that he was going to win. but on the ninth of the election they announced that he was ahead by a big margin. and the next morning there was a
change of mood and a dramatic change. so for a couple of days people did not know what to do. so the election was on friday and then on saturday and sunday and people said they were going to the street to organize and have a demonstration. and i thought maybe 10,000 or 15,000 feet all with chants and slogans and go back home. [inaudible] i could not do anything that i went to the main street not a
lot and i thought wow, people were streaming in and it was the same thing repeated 30 years later that millions of people, who is between 2.5 million people in that repeated for a few days and i reported on that. >> we actually made it clear that he was working for "newsweek" at the time. it was a major news program in the uk.
so he came to the ceremony and said that people have to go back home whether they were responsible. not a lot they had these black shields, they had -- we have not seen these people and we do not know where they were coming from , women, men, children, i saw some of those horrible things that in my life on that day on the 19th of june and so it was quite dramatic.
>> we saw the dramatic pictures of the blood coming from her nose and mouth. and the next morning a few men came to my mothers house and they arrested me. >> okay, there is a book out that you have written entitled rosewater and it's a film directed by john stuart which is really a family story in a lot of ways. but it is the story of that imprisonment for 118 days. so one of the things i have been curious about, the link here is that when you are being interrogated they played the clip from the daily show.
>> sure, they took me into the interrogation room and savior wanted for espionage so could you mind telling me about this? and i said you mean "newsweek" magazine and i said yes, it is part of this and it's common knowledge that it's part of the intelligence organization. because i was in touch with someone named nicholas. [inaudible] and they thought that i was in
touch with nick arons and he had just been in touch with him, he's a government official, that proves that you're working for the cia. and it was as all these things coming together. and so in the absence of any real evidence they had to bring forward ridiculous evidence including my appearance on the daily show. >> survey said that they took it seriously? >> yes. >> so you are back in the states by this time. >> things started to happen and i think some of the other people that we have interviewed had
been arrested at that point. because i went back to check this to make sure that he told us to do this, but i feel like it there were other parts of the interview where he spoke, you know, the one and say hey, are you okay, what do you want to do this thing and he said go ahead and aired these even though it's a more difficult to mark. so we proceeded and then i don't know how exactly we found out that he had been arrested as well at that point. so for us it was extremely uncomfortable because even though people say we are generous, we are not. we are not journalists. it was personally uncomfortable
and it was almost like comedy had intersected reality that i was completely unprepared for. and i thought, i should not be involved in this. and that was one of the striking things for me is that we are making jokes, we thought that we were doing something safe and it turns out that there was not much safe in the world we were living in and yet there was a much darker side that i see on tv and i know it exists, but the fact that it exists with someone that i know and being used as a form of torture this is way beyond. >> and there was torture over these 118 days, there were other pieces of evidence that were brought out to prove that you are a spy for america. so can you talk a little bit about the process that you went
through and we should also add that his sister was in prison and in the next regime for being a member of the opposition party. so it's very effective, you had conversations in your head so can you talk about the evolution of how you thought you would behave and eventually what happened? >> going up in a political family, we had to witness a revolution and the war, somehow it prepared me for getting arrested and i had been arrested a couple times when i was younger and my teenagers. and the second time was when i
was with my girlfriend at a coffee shop. they arrested everyone in that coffee shop and they took me to the most dangerous prison at that time for common criminals. so i was in prison and at the age of 17 and my crime was having coffee with a girl and so i was talking to someone and one person said murder in another separate. but there were like 35 common criminals, dangerous criminals, couple of other people as well and so i thought maybe i was prepared, but you cannot really be prepared for something that is as ridiculous as this.
but you cannot really prepare yourself or something like this. i was not prepared. i knew that there were many stupid people in iran and those that are in the regime in iran and that they don't have any sense of humor. but until i got there and witnessed it firsthand, i could not believe it. and so during those 118 days, i did not get any new information. but my information about the regime and the paranoia really defend, for example how much they hate the jews. and i realized that that is how much they regard israel at the same time and so i went through a different time during my
interrogation and as i said in the beginning they charged me with espionage, there were beatings, psychological torture, telling me that this isolation -- and it's the worst kind of torture because you are deprived of so much and sometimes i wish that i could go to the interrogation room so that i had some human contacts. and most people were trying to ask me about my private life, my sex life, and just getting
ridiculous. and the best comedy i think comes from people who take themselves seriously. even in terms of the daily show you joke about mitt romney, but donald chump is really funny because he takes himself much more seriously than mitt romney. so when i was in prison and one i was being interrogated, my interrogator somehow became unused because when i got into prison i was part of something called 10 days in an iranian jail, he was making presumptions about my life or about life in the west and i was just trying
to, you know, basically he did not have any human contact because he had spent all his time in the interrogation room. he was tired of talking to those others so sometimes he would confide in me, i could hear his conversations and he was talking to his wife. i remember one day he was twisting my hair and it was really all and he kept on twisting my hair. and then he hit my head and said i'm talking on the phone, be
quiet. >> and it makes it probably more dangerous because there is no rationale here. you are dealing with -- you don't know how to play in the theater of the absurd. >> it is multilayered and i try to talk about it in the book as well but the professions that they have, it has become some sort of amusement with those in the regime and the intelligence agency, especially because ordinary iranians do not believe [inaudible] but then you read the article is by the revolutionary guards and
use the that they really relish this and they are perfecting it. it has better lighting, it is understating. [inaudible] the books can be more intellectual used to be just the quran and, you know, so it has become almost torturous than kind of like torture as a spectacle. in one of the other things that led to my arrest with all these other journalists as these notions that they believe in that it is making an example of someone. and so we have many public hangings now and you ask why you hang people in public and they say they want to make an example of the people. and so i was arrested to be
making an example of a journalist, a filmmaker. >> there is so much more to this story, which i hope that you will ask about. there are four microphones here for questions and we only ask that you tell us who you are, keep your questions short and so to hear the end of the story i'm counting on all of you to ask questions. please go had appeared. >> am sorry to let you down, not when asked about the rest of the story, you mentioned earlier that you didn't think that you were a journalist, but i wanted to know your opinion about what i thought of political shows such as the effects of public opinion which i think is huge and how does that change the political and immediate
landscape of today. >> it did not seem to help much in this case either directly or indirectly. [inaudible] i think that it reflects public opinion. maybe there are particular stories or something that get highlighted that we did not otherwise know about. but i was reading an article about this recently and this may be a lonely one or two things that have changed and so i think it's more of a reflection and that is my opinion.
>> here at the kennedy school we would love to hear your thoughts on the iran deals to thank you for that. i support the iran deal. i have tried to read the agreement, it is very complicated, and i know most of the people who have opinions about the deal do not understand much of it because it's a very technical thing. but i support the deal because i look at the alternative which would be another war in the middle east, another invasion of a muslim country and that would definitely affect and harm america and especially iranians because it would militarize estate situation inside of iran and so why they have some space
to express themselves through gather information or share information, if there is a military attack, then it allows those with an the revolutionary guard as a parallel government that took over after the 2000 nine election. and so there's a saying earlier that i've been in a very difficult situation since i came out of prison in 2009 because on one hand i feel that it's my duty to talk about the situation and at the same time i did not want to provide any reasons for war warmongers and people going to war in iraq who think that or
say that going to war would solve the situation and bring peace and security to iran in the amway in libya. these are not good role models. >> hello, my name is ben, there've been a number of successful examples of revolutions. with regard to iran, having a successful peaceful democratic revolution, would it be be from the inside out or would there be anything that can happen to help support a better process. >> i think that external forces can help the situation in iran,
first of all they should not invade the country. but also they have to find out what is the situation inside the country and what do they need in order to bring about a peaceful change in the country. i think talking to different governments and government officials, asking them to create some sort of internet, one of the ways that you can bring peaceful change to iran is by allowing different iranians to come in, to share information with themselves and the rest of the world and why the iranian government is in charge of the internet and the bandwidth. it is still possible but it's very difficult.
so that will be a part of this and then also how much will this cost and how much will the internet costs. so i think yes, they can provide it to them. because iranians don't think about revolution anymore. they have won 36 years ago, they regretted it and they are reminded every day by the government that they have this revolution and so it's something that they do not want to repeat. >> is intersecting here because journalism is honestly one of my passions. and your case quesadilla publicity, hillary clinton talked about it, talking about
the unfairness and et cetera. and you had journalist friends and others who are on the case. the daily show feel that there needed to be some help here in terms of trying to get release? >> nothing directly although a couple of times we have featured some but in terms of anything beyond that, we were sort of coordinating with the people who are taking more of the lead. and that includes coordinating the whole process. >> his wife was pregnant while this was going on.
when he let suicide that statement? >> and so that is part of the story and i will ask it some point what do you think would be helpful for those that are still there but maybe don't get that kind of publicity. >> speaking of which i'm very sorry about your excruciating time in jail, i'm wondering if about those that are held without charge, without torture, whether you can extend your own experience neighboring countries and around the world. because these of are the kind of stories that you never see featured on the daily show or "newsweek". >> yes, there are many things going on in the world including
in palestine, china, russia, egypt and some of these countries are allies, some are less than allies, some are anti-western and so i was really lucky that i was working for "newsweek" and i had been working with different organizations for many years. i had an amazing campaign launched, "newsweek" made sure that every diplomat raised my case. [inaudible] and he-man met the iranians for the first time in geneva. unfortunately most of my iranian colleagues and those around the world are not as lucky.
most of them are not working for news organizations, most of them are freelancers among many of them are social media journalists who have facebook and twitter and they do not enjoy the support and so that is we started journalism is not a crime.com, the campaign. and to put their names to the numbers and to talk about these people can be hundreds of russian journalist, chinese journalists, lots of individuals, brothers, sisters, those that have loved ones in
order to be able to do something about it. so yes, i am trying to do as much as i can but i am one person and i'm sure there are many house indians simians and israelis and chinese who can join us and if anyone wants to get in touch with me, they can do so. and we can see what we can do. >> hello, i i'm a student here at the kennedy school and also a moroccan journalist and someone who has been a part of journalism for several years. the obstacle is his regimes that try to repress journalists and their right to free speech, the
other one is attitudes towards liberal and other journalist that would say that i'm wondering if it's the case for iran. do you think that iranian public opinion is open regardless of what regime is in place? you think that it's challenging to the public morals, as they call them? because i know for a fact that it one of the obstacles. >> yes, there are members of the public that made a good that the way you are you're describing them is like this, but in general, they would like to know
more about the rest of the world. so they are more open to this formation. yes, many of them may not want to hear about gay rights in america and it's not something that they will discuss openly. but i can see that more and more people are open to new ideas and new information. and i think especially with the advent of social media, there is a new move into this, people naming their children, as an example.
freedom to discuss things and they did at the 1980s and in the 1990s. so i think that people believe in gradual change and that is the only way to be able to have sustainable change. as we discuss this people have different changes and those are not changes that are sustainable. those are changes that have resulted in more fanaticism. and so i think that this is a symbolic figure where is you had a fundamental, a little bit more
cultivated, little bit more part of this and he is a symbol of change. >> i want to ask tim because the question was asked what you have more sympathy for those that were tossed into prison. you talked a little bit about this and you have read about the darker parts of the world and you met someone that was in deep trouble and had no way to fix that. does it change you as a person? >> yes, it did. it made me realize that we are much closer.
much closer to some of these darker elements than i was aware. this didn't believe in it, it wasn't a part of my world, but then to interact was quite a shock. i'm going along with him in his story and he brings up this daily show thing and i forgot that i had anything to do with this and it's like, well, i have something to do with this story and it's pretty shocking and there is one other thing which is even at the time we are there where things were more liberal than they are there, there was something in the air that felt like it was in like that,
there's a certain heaviness. in not too long they tossed around and for me it was something that was worthy of mocking. they were fighting for freedom from all of these things and when i was there it was only want to once you see the absence that you get the sense of what we do have here. so that opened my eyes and open my eyes to something that i just didn't realize had existed. >> hello, my name is diane, my question is for both of you.
the daily show gets involved somehow in issues that end up becoming advocacy issues in the u.s., but now when his show ended in egypt. what is the perspective of the show when it gets kind of taken into this advocacy role and how comfortable is that for you in that position. maybe each of you can answer from both sides of that. >> he had a personal involvement and that changes things a little better.
and unbeknownst to all of us we were being monitored. >> it looks kind of suspicious. >> we will try quickly. >> i am from the kennedy school but you mentioned in the area of "the daily show" now that things are changing and things are open will it continue advocating for the relationship? >>. >> i think we will find out
was quite violent we have not seen that many protest although it comes out is every occasion. >> and a student at the fletcher school of law, the nuclear agreement has raised the question whether or not there is a of a broader rapprochement given what you know, and your time what about improving u.s. iran relations? >> starting at a couple of
to have the freedom of expression. >> i've a freshman at harvard college i have absolutely no idea what i want to do with the rest of my life. so i want to ask what is the most of filling part of your job? >>. [laughter] initially the last question would it take about the future of via rail and? -- i ran? >> i think it is nice to
have fun if you're not making a difference you're looking at what matters. but there are things that you care about in the world that are commenting on it more directly that if you are involved with something that you care about in the world. >> died beecher i am very newsy. if i have added the of their profession i could not ask their opinion. but to do dash it and that
is part of it. and if you decide to be a journalist is much more difficult. >> i agree with the making money part to be able to meet people you ordinarily would not meet to hear their stories on tv or just when you were standing around it really disarray privilege to find something that will flow your go. >> the name of the book so
to read to the intended to increase competition the cost is flawed and risky from the start. from 2011 hhs predicted they would go on paid and in 2012 omb projected taxpayers would do is 40% of loans offered through the program. the following year to talk about the financial stability to prepay lowe's. even the staunch supporters
said there is no single african research for their broad expansion of health insurance. and the senator also despite the widespread concerns awarded 2.4 billion cms awarded a co-op for 30 million taxpayer dollars the insurance commissioner denied the cost calling its application in fatally flawed the federal funds were already spent but the tax care dollars for never recovered the next was opportunity that seemed to be a success that amounted
to one fifth of the roadie's nationally. the call opportunity received million dollars but upon the predation operating losses is $163 million. we will be joined later on a vote on the senate side to talk about the program in nebraska. is the end of 2014 cms bolstered co-ops in in those situations it is doubtful they will cover any additional funds several factors have caused them to feel like lowe's moment or premiums were too low in the also incurred a net loss and
in 2014 to anticipate though lower enrollments and additionally they have lower corridor payments as a reason for their defiance and dignity of those statements they were anticipating. the co-op thought they would be bailed out but the program was always intended to be budget neutral all the while was paid into the program would be paid out. in 2014 the spokesman of cms confirmed that risk quarter policy that was supported in a bipartisan basis was to be budget neutral we are here today to understand what went wrong from individuals on the ground and hear from
state regulators didn't and to keep the co-op afloat and lastly we will hear from cms how we can fix it thank you for testifying today and now the ranking member. >> i am sorry this has been impacted by the votes today because it is an important hearing i worked with the state of colorado they have provided coverage options to
inject competition into the health insurance market but another and in -- more are facing challenges and cannot compete in the 2016 market place. we have seen announcements about them caught the -- the closing their doors including colorado i am disappointed that our colorado division has shut it down but it served a critical needs of residents for two years there were on their way to fiscal sustainability. i'm disappointed the ways cms has managed this problem. but equally to blame is congress we have not worked as a partner to support the emerging market to bring more competition dominated
by one or two insurers i do wish we would have saved the co-op but i knowed better. and space sharing with the title affordable care act or obamacare somehow will not be productive you not spend the next several hours we could do meaningful oversight rather than trying to abolish the affordable care actther than trying to abolish the affordable care act but for them and to root for the law specifically congress has squandered the last five years from every bump in in the road rather than focusing on how to make it better.
but they may get harder for those constituents i am not suggesting be affordable care act has been perfect but i think the bumps in the road is to move the ball forward of play can do that we can improve health care coverage for millions of americans. to say in the op-ed last weekend it's not about spreadsheets is about people to skyrocket health care cost and in the second raise rates or deny coverage it is about people who fear that
would bankrupt them they don't have to face these uncertainties they're no longer one accident or illness away. our constituents should depend on congress to work in a bipartisan manner i will use my time to hear from the experts how we can make those remaining co-ops succeed and i do have some hard questions and i want to know what went wrong that was designed to promote competition and to ensure the marketplace. to risk a judgment - - adjustment programs rice cms of persia collections is not
sufficient to cover the payments but they could pay 13 percent of the requested amounts in short is cms thinking outside the box? thanks to the witness is for coming today and will be waiting in a minute but your expertise will improve the lives of our constituents i hope members are ready to hear your ideas so we can have a productive meeting. >> i a agree with the lady from colorado this is about people. they have had real-life
consequences people are hurting and confused the collapse of the western kentucky co-op leave 66,000 people frantically searching for new coverage before the close of the moment period. seven years ago we enjoyed the seventh best employer rate in the country now 2015 and employ a great is the worst in the nation 45% of the coal miners have lost their jobs in the last three years and thousands more have lost their paychecks affiliated with the coal industry. they are hurting and they found a piece of mind knowing their health care was secure but that did not last long those enrolled have that rug out from under them because cms did not do
with job for those flags after the iowa and nebraska co-op failed a continue to award three and $58 million of additional funding. 12 of 24 co-ops have failed. who will be responsible for the medical bills incurred by families? who will pick up the cost? we'll see a massive flexibility? with only one state wide exchange billion of the co-op will result of our families pay 120% higher premium than a share is that fair? it is not just another failed obamacare program is
an opportunity to express our compassion for the hard-working families that have lost their sense of alien look forward to the presentations today in the yield back the balance of my time. >> thank you mr. chairman it is important we have this hearing today. a lot of policies was bad policy the co-op program is no exception that has wasted millions of taxpayer dollars and suffered from a lack of oversight and created instability for millions of patients the model is on sound from the start the administration's desire to conduct dangerous experiments with the nation's health care field
is the assurance the insurance carrier will not simply evaporate in the night progressed last count 12 co-ops shutdown accounting for over $1 billion of taxpayer dollars loss the rate of failure continues to excel rate the subcommittee staff struggled to finalize materials because they were feeling and announcing the failures faster than we could finalize the veranda. we will hear from witnesses today center for medicare and medicaid services stance in the way of reading co-ops we should not stand by as more more taxpayer dollars are lost invested in failed experiments in millions hour risk of losing insurance as they close their doors.
>> i want to thank the witnesses for joining us we are fortunate if we look forward to what you will tell us of the sales co-op and also we appreciate cms taking the time to be here today answers as we conduct the oversight and i yield back to you. >> when repast the affordable care act into law we dramatically change the health care landscape. and has access to comprehensive health care in reality before the affordable care act was
passed the insurance system was broken of rapidly rising costs and painful in the quality. february 2010 headline one month before it was passed declared soaring premiums reflect unsustainable health system 129 million americans could be discriminated against for pre-existing conditions from diabetes through breast cancer or pregnancy they lack important benefits. these are no longer true because of the affordable care act because of a pre-existing condition are getting coverage. today you cannot cancel a policy because she becomes ill beard along a discredited against those who cannot afford insurance are not able to do so. it is still a critical role
to prioritize their customers instead f company overhead and they bring down prices in today's hearing should be an opportunity to examine how we can insure the remaining co-op's succeed and how we refuse to bring back premiums down and waste to have high quality affordable health care. but that is not what today will be about this committee has had dozens of hearings and they have had over one purpose to undermine the affordable care act they have served to highlight only the flaws and i'll look forward to having a hearing where experts can talk about what is working and there is much to applaud we should take this opportunity to do valuable oversight it is to
relate to in the committee but it has done the opposite is frustrating to hear republicans criticized without offering productive ways with over 60 votes to repeal it is clear there would rather brute for failure. i said they have heard any colleagues on the other side say many beneficiaries will have to find a new policies my colleagues are crying. why didn't you get the governor and the state legislature? that many people that signed up had no insurance prior where were the voice is of
testimony will highlight the history of co-op insurance company. my comments will focus on events that ultimately led to voluntarily entering runoff. awarded $73.3 million in loans and advances. a 1st offered plans on the federally facilitated marketplace the plans at five tennessee say service areas. more medical services them projected. they sought enrollment grow exponentially and projected
a romanenrollment costs continue to increase. the department quickly recognized such growth was too much too fast and wrote a letter which you have as exhibit one and january 8 projecting they place an immediate enrollment freeze. it was the right decision for the company. they peaked at more than 40,000 covered lives to reduce down where they remain today and we approved rates to meet deadlines. they were not going to formally on leave the
company targeted evaluation and intel cms released several guidance on the risk corridor program. in late september that apartment was notified they were placed on an enhanced oversight plan. if the loan was changed to contribute. they told cha the statutory county principles would require the money to the classified as surplus if they bilaterally agreed.
ranking member for the opportunity to speak today a better opportunity with the creation and demise of our co-op. i am here on behalf of my state of louisiana and lot -- and not a representative of the national association of commissioners though i am i am an active participant having served as president during the year 2013. i have been president since 2006 and was recently last month reelected for the 3rd time and beginning my next term as we speak. a creation of the cooperative along with those in 23 states around the us was a welcome part from my perspective although i have said repeatedly that if i had been here i would have
voted no on final passage of the affordable care act for other concerns but not for the opposition to the creation of co-ops. i saw that is a mechanism to address competition which i believe is the most important aspect of consumer protection the well-intentioned purpose of the creation of these co-ops and also to create more competition, i welcome that the outset.
the environment that existed as a rollout occurred. in hindsight my judgment succeed under those circumstances. much happened in my state that affected that. they began signing up enrollees in accordance with the loan agreement in october of 2013 which called for them to sign up 28,000 lives and they ended up at 9,000 lives instead. in the several months between approval in the beginning of doing business they had the challenges of the issues presented by guarantee issue, no lifetime limits, age's, not to
mention the need to go out and rent a network of providers and not very friendly to a purchaser of such service environment. they had to hire at tpa to do claims to do there premium collection and payments, build a marketing network of agents all of which in relatively short five month time frame that frankly was not functional. the next challenge came with the rollout on june 30 of the transitional reinsurance program numbers and the risk adjustment program numbers and where they co-op would receive $10 million under the reinsurance payments it would 07 a half million under the risk adjustment program which represented a $5 million hit to the bottom line and triggered our calling them in on july 1, the leadership of our co-op
to tell them that they should actually make the decision to go into runoff before the enrollment period began this october 1. on july 7 their board voted to accommodate the request, and they began doing so. the louisiana co-op financial situation is dire command we are doing everything we can to preserve its network of providers and make sure that their policyholders will continue to have coverage through the end of 2015. now we have the unenviable task of trying to wind down the company will at the same time conserving it and doing so in my state without the protection of a guarantee fund to assure healthcare providers that the bills would be paid. let me talk about -- >> we don't have a few minutes. your out of time.
ben sasse, who taught mr. fortenberry everything he knows. does make sure you turn your microphone on. your recognized five minutes. responding to the failure of the co-ops. tomorrow failed. it is an urgent problem that has left hundreds of thousands of americans scrambling. before we divebefore we dive into details i would suggest we take our partisan hats off. strong supporters of the aca.
why so many of our neighbors are losing their coverage. the goal of today's hearing is to get the bottom of what is happening. there is much more that we need to understand. what we no would suggest a systematic failure of the co-op program and the greater example of bureaucratic incompetence. secondly, the lack of transparency is harmful and the department of health and human services owes the public answers. they deserve nothing less than a full accounting for what has happened. they co-op program was included to purportedly foster competition i federally funding the startup.
the largest co-op in the nation received more than any totaling $265 million. they announced they would be ceasing operations but the regulatory body review of the situation was much worse than had been understood. planning to close down as fast as possible. that means more than 200,000 enrollees will have to pick a new insurer it will be expiring at the end of next month and will have to begin the process all over again.
the suddenthe sudden disruption is eerily similar to what happened in nebraska and islands earlier this year which brings me to my 2nd point. we still have no good answers. with 12 out of 23 insurers rapidly going under and one in $1 million in taxpayer loans i believe it is essential that answer basic for instance there were additional solvency loans to help republican new york in the kentucky help cooperative. doubling down on initial
misjudgments by awarding additional loans, how do they decide to make additional loans? did they have any expectation that they would be paid back over they only be used to pay claims? reinsurers were operating at substantial losses stemmed from poorly pricing products one analysis to the corresponding overall insurance market and here is what they found. co-op pictured in nebraska in the health cooperative of kentucky overall pricing products more than 20 percent below there competitors. how can this be possible. should hhs have given these taxpayers more anomalies? moreover, they have yet to address if and when that will be repaid by any of that money it has been
co-opted. the type of questions that they should be providing to the american people through congress. why are they not? i asked more questions when a 2nd co-op failed. butbut attend a more had gone under i elevated my effort. good governance and i elevated my questions by pledging that we will oppose the fast tracking of all nominations for the u.s. senate. for more co-ops are closing cementing further this is a systematic problem. the taxpayers to foot of this bill deserve answers. cms needs to provide a complete account.
[applause] >> thank you so much. we appreciate your insight and persistence and want to continue to work with you. >> you did not here my opening statement, but i send the same thing as you. we allwe all need to figure out what is going on with these co-ops. >> i got it right. thank you for inviting me to testify today. i also serve as the board
member for the national alliance of state health and appreciate the opportunity to appear before you today. the notion of establishing local and innovative healthcare options should be appealing across the ideological spectrum. the question we now confront is how we can succeed in taxpayer investment be preserved. unlike the differences current fiscal can stretch and a strong. we have a healthier than average general population, greater than 35 million in
assets, risk-based capitol and for the last three months each monthly have been turning a profit. in addition our strong relationship continues to provide us with significant support. they take seriously our obligation to pay back the loan funds granted. however, several requirements and obligations are significantly impeding i would like to highlight three solutions and let me be clear.
they would need additional dollars. however, as you know, there are no additional funds. the solution is to allow individual co-ops to raise capitol. as you may remember the ability to obtain private capitol was one of the measures by which the original co-op applications were judged. cms should amend the loan agreements to allow flexibility because restrictions are not required under the aca section 13 22.
third and finally, the risk corridor payments represent another solution. finally, we hope that both sides of the aisle recognize the nonprofit member governed co-ops are trying to forge a new and innovative path and give consumers an increased choice in coverage which has had demonstrable effects. and innovative approach to the marketplace and choices to consumers. a value -based co-op which removes virtually all financial barriers and
conclusion i share the initial investment in co-ops and they do not entail an act of congress. they simply require them to work together to make sure they are preserved in taxpayer dollars are preserved as well. >> out here from the vice-chairman of montana vice cooperative. i chaired in night see health committee.
they are now providing coverage to million americans bringing much-needed competition bringing consumers more choices, introducing innovations and saving money. montana has a co-op. wyoming does not. in 213110 is average monthly premium was 18 percent lower than my helming. based on the 2nd lowest plan montana is now 40 percent lower. states with co-ops had average plans 8 percent lower than those without. based on the roughly 3.7 million americans enrolled consumers have
already saved more than the total cost of the co-op program. moreover subsidy costs are lower, taxpayers have saved hundreds of millions in subsidies and would have saved billions over the decade ahead. one studyone study projected that if co-ops held rates down by two to 12 percent the question is not how much i have cost the taxpayer but rather how much is the closing cost consumer in taxpayer for years come.
we need to find out who killed thesein the field these co-ops and now much americans will pay for mistakes. they can break the endless inflationary spiral. they have contributed significantly to the recent closures, the $6 billion capitalization grants switched to loans, co-ops prohibited from using funds for marketing. in 2011 congress slashed funding from 6 billion to 3.4 billion. co-op phones toco-op phones to prevent them from achieving more than 5 percent market share. in late 201224 co-ops signed loan agreements. congress responded by
rescinding the remaining within the. although co-ops have not yet opened their doors congressional committees attacked them in hearings and press releases and tied them up with burdensome demands and they were more than twice as high as insurers. allowed to renew their compliance policies degrading the marketplace. prohibited from offering necessary terms that outside investors. in your number one co-ops or prohibited from limiting enrollment on state exchanges despite limited capitol. many were forced to pay risk adjustments without consideration of the effect of early renewal for the co-op solvency requirements.
most recently congress and the administration greenness -- reneged paying less than $0.13 dollar. for some this was the fatal blow. americans will pay billions of dollars more. there are 11 remaining. in my written statement i make recommendations for measures that should be taken. i hope we can discuss these options today. thank you and i look forward to your questions. >> they have cited many factors contributing to the failure of the co-op. restrictions on investors are risk adjustment formula. let me start off comeau one of the top reasons i fail in your state.
>> thank you for your question. our co-op had challenges from inception in that as the commissioner mentioned, going into a state without provider network caused the company to these those. in 2014 we had disastrously low enrollment truly at most maybe 1,000 people signed up for the co-op plan mostly because the rates were somewhat higher than the leader well-established. so overcoming challenges became extremely difficult which is why we saw significant rate increases for 2015 and beyond because of the enrollees across the market we had higher than expected utilization